Summer Gloves

Genre: Fiction; Author: Sarah Gilbert; Publisher: Warner Books

In Summer Gloves Pammy Outlaw is a former beauty queen who falls into one of the more painful varieties of emptiness, the kind of self-hating misery that’s easy to feel when your husband falls in love with someone else and your teenage daughter decides she can’t stand you. Moving back to New Jersey to be with her domineering mom — whom she can’t stand — Pammy pulls herself out of it, searching for emotions that aren’t as shallow as her pageant-and-crown world. Sarah Gilbert writes about Pammy’s awakening with insight and a sharply Southern sense of humor and is especially good on the subject of how scary it is to discover you’ve turned into your mother. A-

Originally posted April 30 1993 — 12:00 AM EDT

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